There are 26 days until Florida's football opener against Florida Atlantic on September 3. Check out Alligator Army's 50 For 50 series for more of our 50 reasons to be excited for Florida football in 2011.
Urban Meyer did a lot of good as Florida's head coach, what with the two national championships in three years and all. But according to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, his successor does one major thing differently, and perhaps better: Will Muschamp treats his Gators like adults, says Lerentee McCray.
What's one difference in the way Muschamp interacts w/ players vs the way Meyer did? Lerentee McCray: "He treats us like adults."
Take that at face value if you want, but there are a few things to consider. McCray didn't play much under Meyer; is his appreciation of Muschamp in some way related to an expanded role? Meyer certainly seemed to treat Tim Tebow as a near-adult; was Meyer just selective in who he respected? And Lieser isn't exactly giving the reader a lot of context; was McCray saying that Muschamp does this as a matter of fact, or was it an editoral comment on the Meyer regime?
In any case, treating college-aged human beings like adults is a good thing: In the eyes of society and law, they are, and coddling or patronizing them tends to lead to bad things. Like, say, Meyer roaring at Jeremy Fowler out of some overprotective paternal instinct.
On the flipside, mutual respect is a very good thing. That's how the best criticism and teaching happen, and that's how teams of adults often operate at a higher level than a colony with a monarch and drones. Muschamp seems to get the average college football player very well, and possibly in a way that Meyer never could. Let's hope that's as good a thing for the Gators on the field as it likely is for Florida's locker room.